This week I got a chance to catch up with Amy Holms of FormFire Glassworks. Amy’s “Wood You” board is one of my personal favorites. It was fun to hear about the personal style that influences Amy’s architecture and glasswork. Enjoy!
Tell me a bit about yourself (where are you from, where do you live now, what are you up to?
I was born in Southern California and stayed here through high school. I lived in Sweden for a few months, then went to college in Massachusetts, and spent a year in France. I came back to Southern California to get my Masters in Architecture, and my day job is designing custom homes in the South Bay (Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches.) I get out of work early to be home with my twin 8th graders after school, and shuttle them to competitive sports practices and events. In my ‘spare’ time, I create glass jewelry and teach classes in lampwork glass bead and marble making. Although lately I haven’t been keeping up with my own blog, I do a weekly guest post on papernstitch that showcases interior design, furniture and handmade accessories.
How did you get into glass art?
I actually got into glasswork by seeing the work of an artist at a knitting convention, but have always been attracted to glass art and watching glassblowers at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna. I took a class and was immediately hooked. I started teaching a year later. After about 6 months of doing the style of beadmaking I saw around me and in books, I shifted to my current style, and work primarily in transparent glass. Of course the visual look of the glass was a big draw, but I think the inherent difficulty in perfecting it has kept me enthralled. Having been a ‘serial hobbyist,’ I often find myself bored once I feel I have a good grasp on the concepts. I have certainly improved in my work, but there is still so much left to do.
How would you describe your style?
I would absolutely say Modernist. I lean a lot toward the minimalist aesthetic, and love simplicity, but want to pair that with warmth and texture. This is true for both my architecture and my glasswork, as well as the products and images I pin on Pinterest. I like work to be honest – straightforward materials combined with grace and proportion. In my houses, I like to define volumes through the use of material changes, and love to emphasize the actual structural elements when possible. In my glasswork, the gorgeous transparent colors available to use are left to be center stage while the forms are simple and add a sense of rhythm to a piece of jewelry.
(an image created for the new Depeche Mode album, Sounds of the Universe, Amy worked on as a collaboration with her husband, Corey Holms.)
What do you use Pinterest for? Did you use something different before?
I am using Pinterest as a catch-all for everything that inspires me. I love all aspects of design, and being able to separate them into architecture, landscape, graphic design, fashion, and product design allows be to keep them organized in one place. I love curating and styling – and have been able to do so on both my guest blog and one of the earliest markets on 1000 Markets, Modern Simplicity – and pinning allows me to scratch that itch. And I love following others that have done some of that searching for me, letting me repin their great finds. It’s great fun.
I started years ago bookmarking in my web browser, but found that I had no idea what was even there. I moved onto sites like Stylehive, but wasn’t thrilled with the way it worked. I tried using Evernote (and still do for some things,) but could only upload a whole web page, and had to spend time fixing the pages so I could see the reference image. I love having a single image attached to a URL where I can get further information. It works perfectly for me.
What can we do to make Pinterest better for you?
There are three things I’d love to see. First of all, private pins and boards. Although I love sharing all my pins with everyone else, I’d like to be able to pull together images for clients - these wouldn’t necessarily be my personal style, so I wouldn’t want them to be a part of my public boards. If we had that, then I’d like to also be able to export to PDF to create a mood board for a specific project. I’d also love to see the Top Pinners section updated with some new boards. I like to browse through those to see what strikes my fancy.
Who would you like to see pinterviewed next?
Although there are lots of great pinners, I have to say I am intrigued by Goran Sandwall. His pins are very much in line with the type of pieces I like, and like me he is a jewelry designer. His Wishlist board is lovely. And if I could only have one pinboard to follow, it would be Janet Speier’s ’everything’, which runs the gamut from products to architecture to graphics, but is always a pleasure to look at.